14 Nov 2003

Vanuatu Government says union talking nonsense over changes it wants to National Provident Fund

4:42 pm on 14 November 2003

Vanuatu's Minister of Finance, Sela Molisa, has dismissed union claims that the Government is trying to exert greater control over the board of the National Provident Fund.

Next week the Government is expected to make amendments to the legislation governing the NPF including cutting employer contributions to the Board from six to four percent to boost the economy.

Ephraim Kalsakau of the National Union of Workers' Board, says the Government also wants its union nominee on the NPF, so it can get direct access to the Funds money.

But Mr Molisa says this claim is total nonsense..

He says currently only the National Union of Workers represents non government workers and the Government simply wants all unions to have a say.

"What I am doing with this is to say it is up to the unions to choose who they want as their representative, at least it is not limited to one union. The amendment is to allow unions, whether big or small, equal opportunity to be on the board."

Mr Molisa also says he has no intention of changing the restrictions governing access to NPF funds.